14% of new cases in Quezon City transmitted in workplaces – Belmonte

The local government of said the recent infections recorded in the city were transmitted in workplaces.

According to the city’s Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), 14% of the 722 positive cases from February 28 to March 13, 2021, have been transmitted in workplaces with many employees.

Mayor Joy Belmonte said transmission begins from one member of the household acquiring the virus from his/her workplace. Belmonte appealed to employers to observe measures that will prevent the transmission in work areas.

“We have instructed our departments to closely look into workplaces and check if they still adhere to our health protocols. Employers must do all they could to minimize risks among their employees, especially essential workers, so they won’t bring the virus home to their families,” Belmonte said in a statement.

The Mayor issued supplemental guidelines on March 14 requiring all establishments to created a COVID-19 task force that would be in charge of prevention, detection, contact tracing, isolation, and management strategies.

She also wants employers to give transportation alternatives for employees to minimize the employees’ exposure to the virus during a commute.

14% of new cases in transmitted in workplaces – Belmonte

Establishments are also mandated to provide separate entrances and exits to reduce mingling of foot traffic and to place hand sanitizing stations and a log, KyusiPass as far as feasible, at each entrance.

Foot traffic inside an establishment should be one-way, as guided by floor markers or other appropriate signage, Belmonte added.

 The mayor also said employers must not allow the entry of workers without face masks and face shields.

Furniture and office equipment must be rearranged to ensure that a minimum distance of two meters between each workstation is being observed. If feasible, improvised dividers or acrylic barriers, especially in retail and customer-facing positions, should be installed.

Workers should have lunch or breaks individually at their desks or only with employees from the same workgroup or department, Belmonte said.

To further reduce the transmission of the disease, workplaces may enforce alternative work schedules, which will lessen the number of employees inside the establishment at any time.

Belmonte added frequent and thorough disinfection of high-touch objects like buttons, railings, counters, and door handles must also be done.